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DYER – John Alfred

February 3, 1943 – June 4, 2011

John Dyer beloved husband of Geraldine Dyer of Calgary, passed away on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the age of 68 years.

John was a dynamic presence and will be greatly missed by all his family, his wife Geraldine, his daughter Christine, her husband Calvin Davies, their daughter Stefanie; his daughter Michele, her husband Doran Midyette and their four children, Austin and Josie Baerg, Kirsi and Tia Midyette. He has a sister, Joan Madler, and a plethora of nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and cousins. In addition he has three brothers-in-law Bob Cave (Pat), Don Cave (Phyllis) and John Cave (Norma) The essence of his happiness was his family whom he loved deeply, and greatly appreciated the support they provided throughout his life and the continuous joy that was ever present in their company. John also appreciated the support and caring of a multitude of friends and colleagues. He was also grateful for the endless care extended by the doctors, nurses and staff at the Foothills Medical Centre, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Home Care staff and Agape Hospice.
John was born in Calgary, raised in Swift Current, Saskatchewan and returned to Calgary to attend University of Calgary. He graduated with a B.Ed. degree in 1965 with a music major and completed a MA in Philosophy in 1977. He worked as an educator with Calgary Board of Education for twenty seven years as teacher, Rideau Park Junior High; assistant principal, Ernest Morrow Junior High; principal, Georges P. Vanier Junior High, and Wilma Hansen Junior High; assistant superintendent, South West Area Office, and coordinator of staff development, Department of Human Resources. In 1993 he left the C.B.E. and established his own consulting firm and worked as a trainer, presenter and entertainer across Canada and throughout the United States with occasional work in Spain, Singapore and Australia. His presentations were not only informative and sometimes life-altering but they were also filled with gracious humour and good-hearted laughter. This was consistent with one of his missions in life: “to share a smile with the people he met each day”. Throughout his life John maintained the belief that the quality of life was supported by the four pillars of personal meaningfulness—living, learning, laughing, and loving.
John loved every job he had and he sustained an indelible conviction that children are the most important natural resource we have. Their education is not only an investment in the quality of life today, but, also, the quality of life tomorrow. He believed that being an educator is one of the most important ministries that one could have in life.
John always found this quote entertaining: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty, well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and proclaiming, wow, it’s been one hell of a ride.” That’s how he lived, and that’s how he died.

A Celebration of John’s Life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Friday, June 10, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to: Financial Assistance Program Fund, Canadian Cancer Society, # 200, 325 Manning Road, N.E., Calgary T2E 2P5 (403-541-2495) or The Salvation Army Agape Hospice, 1302 – 8 Avenue N.W., Calgary T2N 1B8 (403-262-6588).

In living memory of John Dyer, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200.

Offer Condolence for the family of DYER – John Alfred

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Condolence Messages

  1. Susan Piercy nee Thompson :

    Mr. Dyer was one of my teachers at Rideau Park Jr. High back in the early 60’s. I still remember him as if it was yesterday and he was the best teacher I ever had. He was so kind and fun and made school something that you looked forward to going to everyday. My dondolences to the family.

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  2. Rod & Val Ball :

    Dear Gerry and Family, Please accept Val’s and my sympathy for your great loss. The heavenly jazz combo just got a new double bass player. I can see them smiling already. Take comfort in knowing that John will always be remembered by those he worked with and touched in his life.

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  3. Elizabeth Beck :

    At Mount Royal Junior High, I taught with Christine. Christine, I was very saddened to hear of your father’s death at such a young age. He was a wonderful educator and his musical humour was unparalleled. I remember how close you were to your dad and I know how much you must be hurting right now. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad time.

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  4. Charlie Grant :

    All my sympathy and well wishes go out to you all.
    We were all privileged to have known John and enjoyed his good humour. He was so comforting to me as I dealt with cancer.

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  5. Betsy Ritter :

    Gerry,

    I was so sorry to hear of your loss. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

    Betsy Ritter

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  6. Lana (Kostiuk) :

    Mr Dyer was my principal at George P Vanier back in the 70’s and being that much of my time was spent “in” the principal’s office, we got to know each other quite well (hehe). He was such a great mentor who never gave up on me, and truly cared. I ran in to him over 30 yrs later at a speaking engagement, and I was shocked to learn that he STILL remembered me. That just goes to show his true character. My sincere sympathy to the family…

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  7. Kathryn Kelm :

    My prayers are with you as you struggle with the loss of a beloved husband, father and friend. As family was so important to John, so your strength will be found in each other. I am truly sorry for your loss and hope that your precious memories will sustain you.

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  8. Shannon Kostiuk - Beyak :

    Mr Dyer was my principle at Vanier Jr. High 75-77. He and Mr. Wilson changed the way kids thought about school and shared a joy and enlightenment that I have never forgotten. I recall him wearing jeans – unheard of at the time, and instituting the “music” bell. Kids could bring in their favorite songs and he would play them over the speakers when class was out and when the music stopped we had to be back in class. Even the toughest kids bought into his philosphy and were affected by his caring and sincerity. It was a priviledge to have known you.

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  9. John is one of those dozen or so special people you meet during a lifetime. Hearing his name makes you smile. He will be missed.

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  10. Marty and Helen :

    So many laughs, so many good times, so many memories…John will live in our hearts forever, we will miss him every day and will always be truly grateful that he was a loving presence in our lives.

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  11. Trish Scoular :

    Blessings to you all in the passing of your beloved. Mr. Dyer was my Principal at Georges P. Vanier, a man whom I will never forget. He always had a smile. Many a laugh was shared in the halls. I will never forget his support and encouragement throughout those years. He made my experience in junior high a most enjoyable one. May God bless each of you at this time and as you face each tomorrow.

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  12. Willy Mason and Marg Sorge (Mason) :

    Geraldine and family,
    We wanted to let you know that we are very sorry to hear about John’s death. Both of you and your children were special to our mother and grandmother (Martje de Weerd). I too was at Rideau…probably was in 1 of his first classes. He touched a lot of people’s lives and shared his many talents and gifts with them. Cherish his memory.

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  13. Pamela McCallum :

    Dear Gerry,
    I am so sorry to learn about John’s passing. I did not have the pleasure of meeting him, but I know that, as a teacher, he must have touched many lives. My sincere sympathy to you and your family at this difficult time.

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  14. My favorite memory of John is of being in Hawaii and teaching him how to boogie board, and him tackling a huge wave as I yelled at him not to take it! He tackled life like that wave – with great gusto. I will never forget his love and support and I will miss him greatly. All my love.

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  15. Linda Hershick Luque :

    Mr.Dyer was my Principal at Georges P.Vanier. He had such a positive influence on me during my junior high years. His laughter and humor would always brighten my day at Vanier. Mr. Dyer was a great supporter of team sports at Vanier. I’ll always remember his cheers from the sidelines! He was a great educator and a great person. My sincerest condolences to the Dyer family. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

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  16. Gail Hunter nee Jespersen :

    Mr. Dyer was my orchestra teacher in Rideau Park, he was an amazing teacher and taught me the love of violin and orchestra music. He was so encouraging and it was easy to come to early morning rehearsals. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you walk these deep waters.

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  17. Jim and Steph Simpson :

    To Michelle, Christine and Calvin, and all in the Dyer family, please accept our deepest sympathies. Jim will remember John’s influence earlier in his career while Jim was at Higgins. John always took time to smile, say hello and ask a genuine “How are you?, What are you doing these days?”. Simple stuff isn’t it? – but it sure went a long way! Best wishes.

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  18. Juane Priest :

    Christine, Calvin and family
    I was saddended to hear of your father’s passing. He was an inspiration to all that had the privilege of knowing and working with him. As an educator within the CBE, John truly cared about others and made a difference in the lives of children and teachers.
    He will be dearly missed.
    Take Care

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  19. Claire and Murray Carefoot :

    Geradline Joan and families. I am out of the country and consequently I will not be able to attend John’s funeral on Friday. I am so sad for all of you! I remember John babysitting me, your Wedding Geraldine and the time he made it possible for Grampa Dyer to visit us in Drayton Valley. I have many happy memories of being with the Dyers as a young girl and so many, many wonderful memories as an adult. John, like his Mom and Dad, believed in me and you have no idea what a difference that made in my life. I know you will all miss him terribly! With Love to all of you..Claire

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  20. Rain Stecklein-Totten :

    Dear Dyer family,
    I am a coach with the Los Angeles Unified District. I’m heartbroken to hear of John’s passing, as I know countless numbers of my colleagues will be. John was greatly loved by those fortunate enough to work with him in LAUSD. He was a beloved giant of Cognitive Coaching, who managed to maximize our time with him, keep us learning and entertained at the same time. We actually looked forward to attending those meetings, because we knew John would be there, cajoling us and sometimes laughing so hard himself that his face would redden and his eyes would water. What a wonderful soul. He gave a tremendous amount to people in our district; he will be fondly remembered and deeply missed.

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  21. Geraldine and Family: The Dyer family are special people. Knowing his Dad and John I always sensed so much warmth and a good natured attitude. I know many have had their lives made better by knowing John. My deepest sympathy

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  22. Wally and Marilyn Shoults :

    John was a well respected and loved colleague and teacher. When we think of John we smile because he had such a great sense of humour and wonderful smile. Our thoughts and with his family and many friends

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  23. Ela Czerska & Jane Anscombe :

    Dear Christine:

    We are sorry to hear about your loss and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Love
    Ela and Jane

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  24. Duncan and Betty Locke :

    The world is a much better place having had John in it. He made a difference in so many lives with his humour and his intelligence. OUr hearts go out to you in your great loss.

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  25. Islay Jean Holmes (Smith) :

    Dear Gerry and Family,
    I am so very sorry to hear of John’s passing. May the beautiful memories of the love you shared be a comfort to you now and through all the days ahead.
    With sympathy and caring. Islay Jean

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  26. Dorothy Pecksen :

    My thoughts are with you Geraldine.
    With many fond memories.
    Dorothy.

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  27. Janice Ogilvie :

    My deepest condolence. John was also a special icon to everyone at the Edgemont World Health Club of which the morning crew always looked forward to his smile, laughter and hugs in amongst the sweat. I will continue to do 10 extra sit ups in his honor and know that he will be smiling down from the shining star that he now resides. xoxo

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  28. Richard Plummer :

    It was with the deepest regret I heard of the passing of John. Though I met and worked with him only briefly he left a lasting impression. My thoughts and prayers go out to Christine and Michelle and their families.

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  29. Ray Courtman :

    My most sincere condolences to John’s family. The world has lost a great teacher and a fabulous “edu-tainer”!

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  30. Aritha van Herk :

    Dear Gerry and family,

    I am so sorry to hear about your losing John. I met him only a few times, but he sparkled with love and laughter. He was a wonderful person.

    My sincere condolences,

    Aritha

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  31. Sandy Bessey :

    Mr. (John) Dyer A.K.A. as the mysterious “Bill Pink” was the Assistant Principal at Ernest Morrow in the 70’s when I was a student there. His sense of humour always lightened up the class as he also taught Social Studies. He touched the lives of those who knew him.
    My condolences to his family during this difficult time.

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  32. sandra gascon :

    I had the pleasure of meeting John at his sister Joan’s house and was always touched with his generous smile, sense of humor, and zest for life. I send you all my deepest sympathy during this time. May God comfort and bless you with peace.
    Sandi Gascon
    Alpine, CA USA

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  33. Roderick McGillis :

    Gerry, I am saddened to hear of John’s passing. I well remember his sense of humour, and his love of Tom Waits. Condolences from a distance that seems inconsequential now.
    Rod

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  34. Sharon Storrier :

    Gerry,

    I am a far better, smarter, and thoughtful person because I had the great honor of being John’s friend. He will always have a special place in my head and my heart.

    Sharon

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  35. My condolences to everyone in John’s family especially Geri, Christine, and Michele and their families. We have all lost such a wonderful and special person in John. He left such an indelible imprint on Education within the Calgary Board of Education. Students, parents, and staff will recall the special moments and connections with him that were life changing and uplifting. His message conveyed through his presence and interactions cannot be forgotten.

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  36. Hilda & Jon Ed :

    It is impossible to think about John without smiling – even at a time like this. He loved life and made everyone around him feel the same way. He was the definition of ‘living, learning, laughing and loving’. John was interested in every aspect of life and we are all richer because of our time spent with him and poorer because there will be no more such times. Gerry and her wonderful family have suffered an immeasurable loss. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

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  37. Brian and Susan Farrell :

    Dear Dyer family,
    John could make one laugh and cry at the same time – his love of life, his family and his work with people is what we’ll always remember.
    Our sincere condolences,
    Brian and Susan

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  38. John, Jackie, Rachel and Adam McDougall :

    Dear Chris, Cal and Stefanie,
    We were so saddened to hear of your father’s passing. We know how strong an influence he was in your lives and know that this must be a very difficult time for you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Our deepest condolences,
    John, Jackie, Rachel and Adam

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  39. Curt Carruthers :

    Gerry and family, Our most sincere condolences. He was so much to so many over the years, he will be most surely be missed by lot of people. You must be proud of him and treasure the memories. My first recollection of John was many years back in Speedy Creek when he was proudly showing me the VW Microbus that his dad had newly acquired.

    Curt

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  40. Janice Rodriguez :

    John was dearly loved and highly respected in Los Angeles among the many of us with whom he shared the art of coaching. He freely gave love and laughter to us all, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to have learned from him. Blessings to you as you celebrate his life.

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  41. Ursula Rosin :

    Dear Gerry and Family,

    My sincerest sympathy at your loss. John was my cognitive coach trainer, and I will be forever grateful for the lessons he taught me. The lessons learned from his training are ones I still apply to my life and my work every day. He brought all of us who participated in the training closer together as well because of the wonderful bonding activities he provided as well as the profound learning through constant attention to the importance of processing information, the use of active listening and development of empathy. Whenever I participate in a “think/pair/share” I still think of him. Forever grateful for having known him – Ursula Rosin, Principal Wilson High School, Los Angeles

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  42. Gerry: – my deepest condolences to you and your family. Although I never knew John personally, I remember you from Commercial Class, and I wanted to tell you how very sorry I am that you’ve lost your life partner and friend. I know from letters Don has written about the reunion, how dedicated your husband was – not only to the 50th reunion – but to everything he did in life. My thoughts are with you.
    A fellow grad from ’62 – Leslie Webb

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  43. Brendan Moran :

    Dear Gerry,

    I’m sorry for not writing sooner. Lorraine and I were in Asia for a few weeks, and only returned on the evening of June 10. We would like to extend our sincere condolences on John’s passing. I met John a few times and remember him as a tremendously good-humoured person with whom it was wonderfully easy to converse. Lorraine and I are thinking of you during this time of loss.

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  44. Olwen Thomas :

    Dear Christine and family,
    Thinking of you during your sad time. I have nice memories of your dad when we worked on the 5th floor at the Ed Centre. His goofy humor and infectious laugh added so much.
    Olwen

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  45. Judy Williams :

    They say you can count the great teachers you encounter during your life on your left hand — “Mister Dyer” was the ‘thumb’s up’ on my left hand. As one of his students at Rideau Park, he taught me to love social studies, to learn the violin with the school orchestra (Pomp and Circumstance), to play basketball (with the visiting Harlem Globetrotters no less!) and to enthusiastically embrace life each day. It was a sad day for me when I read of his passing but it also brought to mind wonderful memories and the postive impact he had on my life. My heartfelt condolences to you on the loss of this great teacher and memorable human being who enriched so many lives.

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  46. Gordon Hunter :

    I just heard, from retired educators who were grieving, of John’s death. He left a fine legacy of learning and laughter. Condolences to the family. We are pleased that he was a part of our lives.

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  47. Kelly McGowen :

    Dear Geraldine and Family,
    I was terribly shocked to hear of John’s passing.
    As you can see I am terribly late, but I hope you will hear of my condolences anyhow. I have been out of Calgary for several years.
    John was my principal at George P. Vanier and was also an inspiration to me. He was one of the only adults who did listen and offered alot of support to us. I also remember the jeans and music between classes.He had an awesome sense of humor that we all enjoyed. He was an amazing man, and I admired and respected him immensely. He made a huge difference in my outlook on life.
    I am also incredibly regretful that I never had a chance to meet up with him later in life.
    Please accept my sympathy and regrets in his passing.

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  48. I attended a workshop put on by Mr. Dyer in wpg. I was just remembering him today and looked him up to see what he was up to and to see if I could find his book “Outrageous Pursuits”. I am so sorry for your loss, but I know that his legacy of love and laughter lives on. I only met him once but there are tips and tricks I still remember, like wearing funky socks to have conversation starters with kids.

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